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Football stadium gets renovations

Posted August 14, 2013

XENIA — A football stadium is getting a much needed renovation, a slew of personnel moves were made, a potentially touchy complaint against a board member was addressed and there was even some light-hearted concern about high school students’ “rock and roll,” during Monday’s Xenia Community Schools board meeting. Project Manager Jeremy Falcone, a structural engineer with LJB, Inc., described the ongoing progress with the Cox Stadium renovation project. “As many of you know, the home bleachers of the football stadium have been shut down. We’ve been working to get the two side wings (of the bleachers) open again,” Falcone said. “We’ve designed a fix for it. It’s gone through permitting, we have a welder on site and they are scheduled to be finished on Friday.” Falcone said a concrete sub-contractor will do some work out there soon as well. “After that, there is just some painting left to do,” he said. “There’s no reason why these bleachers should not be open this fall.” The renovations, which have included improvements to the Xenia High School weight room, are being done thanks to money donated for the project through the Doug Adams Trust. According to Christy Fielding, Xenia Schools’ Director of Business and Technology, the improvements are just the first phase of improvements being considered for Cox Stadium. Regarding personnel moves, 10 employment contracts, 35 supplemental contracts, seven changes in assignment, three recalls from the reduction in force list (RIF), four removals from the RIF list, and six resignations were approved. Fifteen hiring moves of classified personnel (assistants, cooks, clerical) were approved, and nine classified employees were reassigned to other schools. The board went into executive session “for the purpose of discussing a complaint against a public official,” and went into another room for a 28-minute meeting. Council man Robert Dillaplain stated before the group went into executive session that he had been informed by Superintendent Deborah Piotrowski that he was the official in question. Dillaplain said he would not have adequate time to prepare an adequate response on his behalf. “I request … that this complaint be heard in public, and not be held in secret behind closed doors,” Dillaplain said. “I know that if this executive session occurs, that it is illegal and will place the district and individuals in further jeopardy.” Board President Steven Alex said the school’s by-laws have been in place since 2006 by the past four board presidents, including Dillaplain, and said the board has been advised that an executive session is the proper way to deal with the complaint. “Really, it does involve a sensitive matter that is applicable for an executive session as described in our by-laws,” Alex said. Afterward, both Dillaplain and Alex cited Ohio Sunshine Laws that prevented them from discussing the complaint. And the rock and roll? A Spirit Rock was recently provided to Xenia High School on behalf of the City of Xenia’s Public Service Department. The rock, valued at $1,000, is presently at the high school, and students will be able to tastefully decorate it throughout the year. “We had a student liaison who mentioned that there was an interest in having a Spirit Rock at the high school this year. And so the Public Service Department representatives, who were present at the meeting, volunteered that they had rocks,” council woman Barbara Stafford said. The student liaison was able to choose the rock, and then the department came out and installed it at the high school,” Stafford said. “Is it round?” Councilman William Spahr said. “We don’t want the kids to get it to ‘rock-and-roll.’ Get it? Rock and Roll?” Audible groans were heard throughout the McKinley School meeting room. In closing comments, Alex said the board will conduct interviews for a full-time treasurer at 6 p.m. today and Thursday. Three candidates for the job will be interviewed on each day. Council woman Lee Rose said the school district’s “Stuff The Bus” school supply acquisition campaign for needy students was a huge success. And parent liaison Stephanie Johnston was credited with organizing the event. Supplies are expected to be divided up and distributed to the schools this week. Supplies will then be given to those students in need.